Recently, hundreds of Christians signed a manifesto called, “For the Sake of Christ and His Church: The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel.”
It open with this idea:
We are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality. The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for “social justice.” If the doctrines of God’s Word are not uncompromisingly reasserted and defended at these points, there is every reason to anticipate that these dangerous ideas and corrupted moral values will spread their influence into other realms of biblical doctrines and principles.
You can read the full, lengthy statement here.
The statement has drawn widespread criticism, and now, Dr. Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has responded. Moore was a guest on the Holy Post Podcast, and was asked about the statement. He explained:
In almost every case, we are not really talking about ‘social justice’ and we are not even talking about social engagement broadly. We are almost always talking about race. I don’t even want to concede to the conceit that what we are talking about is a broader issue of social engagement because again, that is almost never the case. Some of the very people who would say this are the people who have talked about, and rightly so, abortion and the systemic public problem of abortion.
He then asked listeners to look at the historic implications of this kind of thinking:
If you were in the Southern Baptist or Southern Presbyterian context in 1845 and the question of slavery comes up, the response is going to be ‘You are distracting us from the Gospel. We need to be the people who are sharing the Gospel and evangelizing the world and not to get involved in these social issues like slavery.’ Well, if you stand up and call people to repentance for drunkenness and adultery but you don’t call them to repentance for participating in or applauding the kidnapping, rape, forced servitude of image-bearing human beings, than you have spoken to it. You have said, ‘This is an issue to which you will give no account at judgement.’ That is not what the Bible teaches.
The interview is worth the listen.